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Started watching midway through the first season. Started writing not long before the beginning of the last.

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(T>B) Which finale would have been best to end it? · 4:46pm Nov 19th, 2020

Original thread: https://www.fimfiction.net/group/50/the-writers-group/thread/394337/which-finale-would-have-been-best-to-end-it

A pretty simple question - I'll be giving my own opinions once I've seen some of yours. But just for clarification:

  • We're looking at the finales themselves and the flow of the plot. Please try not to consider later episodes when making a selection - it's fine if you can see existing themes in the show that cry out for further exploration, but don't just pick late ones because you don't want to lose good episodes.
  • You can decide whether any interseasonal stuff, like Equestria Girls or Best Gift Ever, aired or not.

Edit: And now I'm ready!

The Best Night Ever - A little sad, since it would mean that the show was a failure to launch. On the other hand, it wouldn't have a single bad episode. (Nope, not even that one you're thinking of - I liked them all.) As for the episode itself, it's an interesting but perhaps controversial lesson to end on, with a surprising lack of Twilight- but then, she did appear a lot in the rest of the season.

A Canterlot Wedding - Have the finale push the main cast aside to focus on a pair of Hasbro marketing shills? Yeah, how about not? (Apologies to the Crystal Royals, but even you know you didn't grow your depth until later.)

Magical Mystery Cure - The only one we're pretty sure was written to maybe end it - and Season 3 did show characters moving towards their goals and facing their past selves. I suppose it would have been okay to go out with this grand spectacle - but the late episodes introduce too many things with obvious future potential for it to feel like anything but a rush.

Twilight's Kingdom - probably one of the better options. Not just because once you've started Starlight you have to finish her, but because thematically this really works - the culmination of a season-long expanded version of the premiere quest*, that also ties up the aforementioned loose ends from Season 3. Now mind you, I'd want the whole thing redrafted a couple of times, but I already want that, so...

*I've often considered whether having the Mane 6 brought together as Element Bearers was too hasty, if they should have had a season to bond as friends first. But then you have to ask, if the premiere had been pure slice-of-life, would the show be nearly as popular?

The Cutie Re-Mark - I really wouldn't want to end the show here - it's a bad episode at the end of a string of weak ones, so it would feel more like euthanasia than retirement. But I must grudgingly admit that the "what-if-we'd-never-met" plot is suited for a grand finale - now it's annoying me that they wasted it here - and Starlight's insta-redemption montage could technically be considered a resolution for her character arc. So unless I can find some other fundamental objection... Aha! The complete marginalisation of the Remane 5! Rejected!

To Where and Back Again - probably the strongest season finale to date, and also a completely unsuitable series one. (Because it's the climax of supporting character's stories while completely sidelineing the leads.)

Shadow Play - the other one that could have worked, being not only a strong close to a strong season but also going back to the hidden roots of the show. That said, I would have liked a finale version to be extended into an hour-length movie with:

  • More involvement from supporting characters, as well as more awesome from existing ones.
  • An explicit link between the Pony of Shadows and Nightmare Moon.
  • Not quite so much of Twilight being stupid and Starlight being the only correct one.

But unlike Twilight's Kingdom, that would be more about bringing it up fron "good" to "excellent".

School Raze - not particularly suitable. Besides the fact that that ending would be made ten times worse if it was the last scene of the show, there's also the indecisiveness of Season 8 in general. If it's still a show about our leads, then stranding them in Tartarus all finale is no good - if it's about the students, then they should have got more episodes. (And also Elements, but that point stands regardless.)

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Comments ( 4 )

Pretty much my same feelings. If not "Magical Mystery Cure" or "The Last Problem" I can only really see "Shadow Play" working as a good finale for the series, and even then it would need some epicifying to work. "A Canterlot Wedding", "Twilight's Kingdom" and "To Where and Back Again" are good conclusions to their respective seasons but would've been too much of a shift to other characters to be a suitable series finale.

I get the first and last of those, but the middle?

5405060 "Twilight's Kingdom" has a fair deal of problems. First it can't decide if it's supposed to be the story of Discord cementing his redemption or Twilight figuring out what her role in Equestria is meant to be. When they decide to focus on the latter they have Discord join Tirek without really hesitating and no one seeming to think he could've ever gone rouge, not even Princess Celestia. Then Twilight is made almost entirely the focus while everyone else just gets pushed aside so they can get to that DBZ-esque fight, which makes the whole finale guilty of what I like to call "Building Backwards" knowing what the climax is supposed to be and thinking solely of how to get to that climax even if it's to the detriment of story and character. And Discord's betrayal is just sort of swept under the rug, which would be all fine and dandy if he didn't speak up afterward believing that he deserved a throne for one good deed he inadvertently did, not to mention the entire destruction of the Golden Oak Library that was clearly just a mandate from Hasbro alongside the never seen again rainbow power.

There are still good moments, but this finale followed the blueprint of prior two parters almost to the letter and for better or for worse other finales would try not to follow that.

I think Twilight and Discord's plots can be well-balanced - the main issue is the lack of focus for the others.

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